Scrub Helps Shrub

Article excerpt

The company that the Florida secretary of state contracted with in 1998 to help purge the state rolls of ineligible voters is well connected to GOP circles. The chairman of the board of Database Technologies, now the DBT Online unit of ChoicePoint Inc. of Atlanta, was former astronaut and prominent Republican Frank Borman.

Also on the board were billionaire Ken Langone, who was co-chairman of the fundraising committee for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's aborted US Senate race; and big GOP funder Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot. Howard Safir, former New York City police commissioner under Giuliani, is a consultant to the company, and Vin Weber, best known as Newt Gingrich's legislative enforcer when the pair controlled the House of Representatives, is the company's lobbyist. The company says that it favors no party.

A report that Secretary of State Katherine Harris had ordered the removal from voting lists of 8,000 Florida citizens, every one of them wrongly identified by DBT as felons from Texas, first appeared in Britain's Observer, where I work as an investigative reporter. …